This is how I find new music: I subscribe to NPR’s song of the day (or I used to—I’m just realizing I haven’t gotten a song in months—did they discontinue it?), and I read the music section of The Week (which is the only magazine I still get in print and will continue to do until they stop printing, like Newsweek this week announced they will next year.) Then I go to Spotify and listen to the recommended music and decide if I like it.
A few weeks ago, The Week aggregated reviews of two of my favorite artists, Grizzly Bear and Dwight Yoakam. Completely different styles, owing I guess to my background in college radio, which actually began post-college—in law school, as soon as I realized I was not, at heart, a lawyer and needed a creative outlet—and extended longer than it should have, into my mid-twenties when I finally realized it was time to get out of the way of the actual college students who had the valid claim to college radio I could no longer even fake.
Anyway, The Week reviewed the new albums by both artists in the same issue, and to be honest I was more excited about GB. Until I listened to the albums. And here’s what I found: GB’s new album, Shields, is pretty good. And I think it’s pretty universally acknowledged they’re hipper than Dwight Yoakam, even though his country-music stylings are definitely alternative.
But I like 3 Pears better. From the first chords of the first cut, I felt something familiar but fresh. GB sounded familiar too–but a bit stale. For whatever any of this is worth, I recommend Dwight Yoakam 3 Pears.